expatsHaarlem living on the edge: drinking Chianti wine

Myth busted: Red wine and chocolate don’t make you live longer.

It has been common knowledge for decades: There is something in red wine that also happens to pop up in the chocolate ingredient list and is super healthy!

This substance makes up for the bad effects of saturated fat and alcohol and prevents you from having heart attacks and cancer.

The French paradox

The latter effect is also known as the French paradox: Typically the French would counteract the effects of their generally unhealthy diet, composed of the likes of fois gras and paté, with an above-average dose of red wine. Because of this they tend to live longer than you would expect, based on their eating habits. Earlier studies showed the same effect with chocolate. Red wine and chocolate have in common that they contain a certain substance named resveratrol, which till now has been assumed to be the magic source of so much health goodness.


Doctor Semba of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore went ahead and shattered our dreams. Determined to come back with a result that would prove what everyone with a little sense already knew, he traveled to one of the world’s best wine areas, Chianti in Italy. Between 1998 and  2009 the poor guy and his team got drunk  conducted a research study among 800 men and women of 65 years or older, all living in two little villages in Chianti.

Myth busted

After all these years of hard work he came back with a mind-boggling conclusion:

The resveratrol in red wine (and chocolate) is not good for you. We didn’t find anything that justifies assuming it has positive health effect.

We assume doctor Semba will have to perform some follow-up research during the next 10 years in order to find the slightest clue why the hell red wine is good for you after all . So if you see him in a South African winery zipping on a beautiful Lyngrove Platinum Pinotage with a big plate of braai-prepared zebra in front of him: Thank him for science.

Source: WebMD

3 replies
  1. Arianna
    Arianna says:

    Correct Nick!

    I don’t want to believe in the results of this study. I mean… missing both chocolate AND wine: no way!

  2. Nick Ferrara
    Nick Ferrara says:

    Well they make me mentally happy and if you are mentally healthy that helps physically too, right???

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